Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's A Start But . . .

I'm not sure in media res is the right tool here.

A New York Times article about proposed standards for science curricula reports,

"One of the big goals, the committee said in a 282-page report, is "to ensure that by the end of 12th grade, all students have some appreciation of the beauty and wonder of science."

I love the desire to have students appreciate beauty and wonder.  Three obstacles stand in the way of that goal.

The first is that science writers use so much jargon that they wring the beauty out of science.

The second is that reading standards have made it impossible to recognize and appreciate language that appreciates beauty or expresses ideas beautifully.  It's difficult to appreciate anything if that thing is described in tech manual language.

Finally, if education's direction is to be set by roundtables dominated by insurance companies and securities traders, I'm not sure anyone in power is seeking to eliminate jargon and instill an appreciation of beauty.The language in my State Farm policies lack beauty and a sense of awe.

On the other hand, most heroic epics begin in the middle.  Maybe an heroic effort will be made and lead to success here.

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